Welcome to the Arabic Jazz blog!

Ahlan wa sahlan!

Welcome to my blog. I've created this blog to share information and news about music that mixes elements of jazz and Arabic music. I'll also share scores and transcriptions etc. for musicians.

About Me

The seeds of my oud obsession were sown in 1995 when I was an upstart jazz musician in New Orleans. I was catching a cab to a gig one night, and the Egyptian cab driver noticed my guitar and we started talking about music. As he dropped me off, he suggested, "you should learn to play the oud, it is the most beautiful instrument." At the time, I didn't know what an oud was, but it turned out to be a prophecy of sorts: not long afterward, I came across the album "al-Jadida" by Rabih Abou-Khalil while digging through a record store and bought it on a whim. As soon as I got home, I put the music on. That was it—I was hooked. I learned as much of the music as I could on the guitar and then started trying to get my hands on an oud--which was not easy in New Orleans! After months of searching, I finally found someone who could ship me one from California. As soon as I got it, I began obsessively teaching myself dozens of tunes and within a few weeks started performing on oud with some of the more open-eared jazz musicians in the city. Later I had the opportunity to travel to study with renowned Arab musicians Simon Shaheen and Bassam Saba and eventually wound up in Brooklyn.

I love learning and performing the traditional Arabic music repertoire, but I am most at home when bringing my love for jazz and Arabic music together. My current band is called Nashaz, with some great musicians here in NY.